Speak with an experienced Virginia Fraud Crime Attorney
At the Flynn Law Firm, we recognize how serious fraud related crimes are, and how they can affect you and your livelihood, especially in Virginia. They can cause problems with employers, education, and many of these charges have serious collateral consequences, such as the loss of a security clearance, the right to vote or possess a firearm, and/or immigration consequences.
Credit Card Fraud
Credit Card Fraud in Virginia is where a user intentionally uses a credit card that they do not have permission to use, or they know that the credit card is expired or otherwise invalid. There are a number of different ways that this can be accomplished to fall under the crime, but in all situations, the government believes that it can prove that the person who submitted the card knew that they should not have used it because it didn’t belong to them or because the card was inactive for some reason. Every time that the card is swiped, is a new crime, and if the value of the transaction is over $200 then the crime will be a Class 6 Felony.
Credit Card Theft
Similar to Credit Card Fraud, Credit Card Theft is a crime where someone takes or receives a card, or its numeric equivalent without permission and uses it, including found credit cards and credit card numbers. This is an unclassified felony, with a potential sentence of up to 20 years incarceration.
Forgery in Virginia is the writing of or the alteration of a document with the intent to defraud. Virginia has several different statutes to address different types of documents, and the penalties involved with fraudulently creating or doctoring them. Generally speaking, in order to accomplish this crime, there must be a writing, or an act in creating / altering that document. Being found in the possession of a forged document is not the same as forging a document. Like with many cases, these cases will be heavily dependent on circumstantial evidence including statements made by the suspect, and other evidence that they believe will prove their case. Forgery cases are generally Class 5 Felonies.
Forgery of a Public Record is a Class 4 Felony, and is considered a more serious offense because the alleged perpetrator is suspected of forging a public document or record such as summonses, paperwork for court, or applications to the DMV. It should be noted though that Forgery of a Public Record can be very nuanced and just because the prosecutor says that a document is a public record, that does not mean that it is in fact a public record.
Uttering is similar to Forgery. Uttering is the act of producing or providing a forged document to another for them to accept as a legitimate document. For example, if someone were to forge an incorrect signature on a check, the act of writing the check would be a forgery. However, the act of passing that same check to someone else to accept it as payment would be uttering that check. Like Forgery (except for those of public records), Uttering is a Class 5 Felony.
Obtaining by False Pretenses
Obtaining property and money by false pretenses is a crime in Virginia, whose punishment is determined by the value of the property / money taken. If the amount is less than $200, it is a misdemeanor, otherwise it is an unclassified felony, with a punishment of up to 20 years’ incarceration. This crime occurs where someone intentionally misrepresents a past (or existing) fact, with the intent to defraud the listener, and that misrepresentation causes them to provide the misrepresenting party something of value. Because the value determines whether the charge is a felony or a misdemeanor, the prosecutor will have to be able to prove that as well.
Defense of Fraud Charges
Defending fraud related charges is very nuanced, and will depend in great measure on the facts of each case. Often times, prosecutors will charge multiple people in the fraud of an item even though the person charged was simply there, and not responsible for the fraud or theft. You need an attorney prepared to fight for you and skilled in these types of cases. Fraud charges are often circumstantial, because the prosecutors have to prove your intent, which can be very tricky for them to do, and sometimes, impossible.
If you or someone you care about has been charged in Virginia for a fraud related offense, contact the Flynn Law Firm for a free consultation. We are an African American law firm with 8 years of experience handling these types of cases. Rex Flynn is licensed to practice law in Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C. but practices primarily in Northern Virginia (Fairfax, Arlington, Falls Church, Alexandria, Prince William and Loudoun Counties). These charges are serious, you deserve to be represented by a criminal defense attorney that you trust and that will fight for you to the very end. Give us a call today for a free consultation.